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McMurry University

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I am currently in my third semester at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts College. In that time period I have received my Serv/Safe certification; and have had 1 of my chefs pull me aside after class and tell me that he would be happy to recommend me for future employment. In my previous profession I was a Landscape Contractor/Designer. I have discovered that the 2 career choices are complimenting each other well. Landscape because I also have a large vegetable/herb garden; and now I’m learning how to use its production even better. The American Culinary Foundation will play an important role in my future and present growth with its networking and continuing education possibilities. I am currently doing volunteer work at Wesley Woods Senior Center serving as a team with my Lab ‘Hooch’ as a Pet Therapy team. The ACF will allow me to expand on my volunteer opportunities with their Chef and Child Foundation which concentrates on increasing the fight against childhood hunger, malnutrition, and obesity through community-based initiatives. In conclusion I don’t need to remind you that education is expensive. I appreciate your time and consideration of my application for your scholarship.

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If I could go back in time and speak to myself I would honestly suggest staying home free of charge and going to a community college in a metropolis for the sake of expenses. I would suggest taking care of all my basic courses and then allowing myself to transfer to an actual university. I only say this not just to save money but to also get accustomed to college and life. This is a crucial time in life where school goes from being pretty easy definition/memorization to actual critical thinking abstracts formations. You honestly need someone in your corner pushing you, guiding you keep going and not to give up. Also being home you could make great use of the resources around you. You have the opportunity to find more scholarships, jobs, internships without having the stress of a new job and new environment. In the long run staying at home and getting a good effective education is the key. You save yourself a at least two years of debt, maintain focus because you want to get away from your parents’ house and then your guaranteed access to more opportunities based on your research or connections. GOODLUCK,VERNEICIA!

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From attending college, I learned the value of being both independent and interdependent. Unlike high school, it was solely my responsibility to keep up with the homework and studying. There wasn't a teacher checking in to see if I've done my part; it was my choice to do it and I'd have to accept full accountability. This was important to learn because relying on others for everything doesn’t help people grow, but instead keeps them at a state of bondage, keeping them from accomplishing great things. As for interdependence, I learned that although I needed to learn independence, I didn't have to trudge along on this difficult journey alone. I could interact with my peers if I had questions, wanted advice, or needed help studying, and return the favor. I learned that living in interdependence is the way to go. If we all serve one another, none of us have to be left in the dust and success comes to all. The best part is that this lesson will take me all through life, not only being applicable to my college times. Overall, I know that college has been a wonderful preparation for my future.

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My advice to students and parents: keep an open mind in the discernment process of finding the right school. It really is about what the student is looking for, not what the parent expects them to do. Parents can suggest, encourage, and often nudge their student during this part of life, but ultimately the choice should be up to the student. And the student should begin to think what they would like to see in a campus. The student should visit different places and get a feel for what life is really like. I found my college by praying and seeking, which seems to be one of many common stories here. Find a school where the student will feel comfortable with leaving their housing, their studies, and classes to be involved in student clubs, organizations, social clubs, fraternities, and sororities. These groups are the key to any school seeking to maintain a vibrant student life, and prospective students should see what the school has to offer. Get out and explore the town the school is in. Oftentimes the culture is out there if you just know where to look.

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As my first year of college is coming to an end, I realize just how much the experience has changed me. First off, going to college provided me with my first opportunity to take care of myself. For once, I learned how to make wise decisions for myself and take responsibility. Also, I learned a lot about time management. In the past, hanging out with friends and work occupied my time, but this year of college has led me to realize just how important it is to make the most out of my time. Nowadays, school, homework, and working to pay for school have been made priorities and when time just can't be made, the things I have a lifetime to do have been pushed to the back seat. Also, college has taught me to be wise with my money. I have never been a big spender, but writing that check for school every couple of months and the finance class I took reminded me to keep my pockets full. Most importantly, college has and will continue to teach me the skills I need to become a teacher and be successful. Thus, I find my college experience undeniably valuable.

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Going into my freshmen year of college was the most terrifying experience of my life. I very much enjoyed my circle of friends that I had since my middle school days, and was very involved and comfortable in high school. During freshmen orientation the week before my college life started, I realized the past was behind me and I was moving on whether I was ready or not. I decided at that moment that I was going to involve myself in whatever campus activites I had time for, and really make the most of my next four years. You have a feeling when you walk on to a college campus, and if it is anything but a good feeling, then maybe that college is not the best choice. Luckily, the first campus I stepped onto I knew would be my future home, and looking back over the past year I can honestly say it was the best decision I have made. Listen to your instincts and find out the best home for you, and then try and be involved and dont seclude yourself from others around campus or professors. Be seen, be heard, and live it up.

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In my college experience I have learned several things but only the most important stand out to me. I have learned that a Jr College is more of a 13th grade of high school and that's exactly how it looks and feels. I have learned that because you see someone in public that you have in your class it doesn't give you grounds to chat them up like your buddies. I have learned that there are some absolutely amazing people in this world who definately surprised the heck out of me. School has definately been valuable for me to attend because it's opened me up to a world bigger than highschool, bigger than my hometown and given me the opportunity to be the person I have always wanted to be. It's been valuable for me because I am a young mother and wife and I want to prove to myself and my family that just because life throws you a roadblock there are always ways around it, and I can be successful and make good decisions. I am a very strong and smart person and it's taken college to show that to me.

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Advice to Myself: Be Brave. My advice: Be brave. Flashback to 2007. I was just starting my senior year at Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas. I had a small group of friends I would hang out, which was great. Don’t get me wrong. But I was also shy and timid at times. ‘Awkward’ is also a word people would use to describe me (and still do). I didn’t take many risks in high school, tried to play it safe, and didn’t get into a lot of trouble. Not a lot of people really understood me. That’s where my advice would come in. I still feel like I’m the same awkward kid I was six years ago. Why? I didn’t take any chances. I didn’t take any risks. I played it safe…and it shows. So I would tell myself to be brave. Talk to new people. Make new friends. Join a club! Have fun! And for goodness sake, don’t be afraid of what people might think. In short, younger (but not former) me, live life! It will only get harder. You cannot let the little things get to you. Be brave.

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When first starting to attend McMurry University I wasn't too sure if I was going to find my place. It's a Methodist school and I am definitely not Methodist, but the kids seemed to be of many different religions. I wasn't very religious at first and by attending the university I have become more spiritual and in touch with God, which for me is a really good thing. My fiance and his family are all very religious and so it helped me become closer with his family. Not only have I become more religious I've done so much community service that I probably wouldn't have done any where else. I am in the social club Delta Beta Epsilon as well as, on the women's soccer team and with both groups we do a lot of community service. While taking my servant leadership class I took part in helping an IRC family which made me grow as a person in many ways. I've met people who I will know and keep in contact with for the rest of my life. At first I regretted choosing McMurry, but not anymore.

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High school is a wonderful time, filled with a wide range of emotions, expectations, and plans. If I were a high school senior again, I would help manage my time and learn to make the transition from high school to college. First things first, do not stop at high school. Set goals and pursue your dreams. Finalize college plans! Make a list of colleges and universities that seem to be suited for you. There is a common misconception that once you've made it to your senior year -- and especially once you've been accepted by colleges -- that senior grades don't matter. Continue to take pride in your grades and continue to do your best. Challenge yourself and stay involved. The key for you is to avoid burnout. You have your high school work, college planning, social activities, family obligations, and outside activities all demanding your time. Try to keep your life balanced.

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